Booking a holiday abroad has never been more vexatious, perplexing or downright risky. But stuff it, you’re taking the plunge anyway – carpe diem, you deserve it.
Once you’ve cleared the necessary hurdles regarding your return (testing and quarantine requirements depending on your vaccination status) it’s time to pick a destination. This would in normal times be the fun part. Not anymore.
Of the 175+ countries on England’s green list and amber lists, the majority aren’t even open to British travellers (the US, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Asia among them), and many aren’t viable holiday destinations anyway (Yemen, North Korea, the South Sandwich Islands, to name a few).
Of the countries that are left, a good number of them are only open to fully vaccinated travellers (nearly half the UK population still don’t qualify) and plenty of them require visitors to quarantine upon arrival (Italy being a notable one, not exactly what most of us are looking for in a holiday).
With that in mind, we’ve broken down all the green and amber-listed holiday destinations into categories; from the easiest options (no quarantine either side, even if you’re not yet fully vaccinated) to the impossible (firmly closed to all British travellers). We’ve ignored the red list on the assumption that few would be prepared to wrap up a nice break in a foreign land with 10 days in a UK airport hotel as penance.
Easy peasy – no quarantine either side
Unlike last summer, there is absolutely nowhere on Earth you can currently reach unless you’re vaccinated without being subjected to at least one if not several bothersome PCR tests, so that’s a given. However, if you aren’t yet fully vaxxed, which is to say 14 days clear of your second dose, there are a handful of places you can visit without having to quarantine either there or when you get back. They are as follows:
Madeira, Portugal (green)
Non-jabbed can enter, but must quarantine upon return
For nearly half of the UK population, this category is for you. You’re allowed to visit with just a negative test but still face at least 10 days of self-isolation when you get back to England; five if you opt for test-to-release.
North Macedonia (amber)
Quarantine-free both sides – as long as you’re fully jabbed
Double-jabbed? You’ve got a quarantine-free ticket (on both sides) to the following destinations:
British Virgin Islands (amber)
Faroe Islands (green)
North Macedonia (amber)
St Lucia (amber)
Turks and Caicos Islands (green)
Open to Britons, but you’ll have to quarantine there
Even if you’re fully vaccinated and won’t need to quarantine upon your return to the UK, here are the destinations which will force you to self-isolate which you get there, for between a few hours (until you test negative at the airport) or for several days:
Antigua and Barbuda (green)
Saint Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha (green)
Forget it – closed to the UK
Unless for a very limited number of exceptional circumstances, these countries are closed to Britons for the time being.
Cayman Islands (green)
Czech Republic (amber)
Hong Kong (green)
New Zealand (green)